In part two of our look at how the rest of the NHL season could play out, we delve into the Western Conference. Here we also have eight seats at the Stanley Cup playoffs table that needs filling. Our breakdown will be by current division standings and wild-card teams.
Central Division – This division is completely up for grabs with every team having a positive goal differential.
1) Winnipeg – The Jets have proven they deserve this spot and are in the Top 10 of every majority category. Winnipeg also has a potentially favorable situation with 19 of remaining 31 games on home ice where they are 18-4 SU. Play On.
2) Nashville – Last year’s Stanley Cup Finals participant is in a good spot in theory, but only if they can capitalize on it. The Predators have played three or four fewer games by the team’s surrounding them in the standings, which is six to eight points they could pick up. The downside, fewer days off. A solid across the board club.
3) St. Louis – The Blues started the season fast in spite of injuries, but oddly cooled when healthy. St. Louis can return to first place if they’re below average offense and ugly power play picks up. If not, they could fall to Wild Card status. Play On at home.